Retirement planning

Wherever you are on the road to retirement, our expert content and tools can help you find (and take) your next best steps.

Learn more about retirement

  • Saving for Retirement

  • Living in Retirement

Retirement calculators

  • How much will you need to retire?

    Use our retirement savings calculator to see where you stand today.

  • If you turned 70½ before 2020, estimate your RMDs.

    RMDs are required for most IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans. See how much you might need to take out.

  • Have you inherited a retirement account?

    As a beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement plan account, you might need to take RMDs to avoid a tax penalty.

     

Get answers to common retirement questions

Questions other investors are asking

A simple rule of thumb is to save about 25 times the amount you’ll need to withdraw from your retirement portfolio during your first year of retirement.

Here's an example:

   

Total expenses for your first year of retirement (including taxes)

$60,000

Minus expected income (Social Security, pension or rental income)

-$20,000

First-year withdrawal from portfolio

$40,000 x 25

Total amount you’ll need in your retirement portfolio

$1,000,000

 

The 25 times rule can give you an idea of where you stand, but it also makes assumptions that might not be true for you. For example, it assumes you’ll be retired for 30 years, spend the same amount every year, and never change your asset allocation. It also assumes you’ll have your portfolio through the end of your retirement.

For a more accurate picture of where you stand, use our retirement savings calculator.

In most cases, the answer is no. While you should stay current on your loan payments, it’s also important to start saving for retirement as soon as you can.

Here’s how we recommend prioritizing debt and retirement savings:

  1. First, make the minimum payments on your student loans and other debt.
  2. If there’s money left over, contribute enough to your 401(k) to get the full company match.
  3. If you don’t have a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, consider opening a traditional or Roth IRA.
  4. If you can, make extra payments on your highest-interest loan to reduce it faster.
  5. When you get extra money from a gift, work bonus or tax refund, use it to reduce your debt and save for retirement.

You can start taking Social Security as early as age 62. But you’ll receive a smaller check each month than you will if you wait until your full retirement age. If you wait until after your full retirement age, your Social Security benefit will increase by about 8% for every year you delay, up to age 70. After age 70, there’s no increase for delaying further.

If you were born in…

Your full retirement age is…

1943-1954

66

1955

66 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960 or later

67

Source: Social Security Administration 

Learn more about when to take Social Security retirement benefits.

If you take benefits but decide you no longer need them, you can pay back the money you received and restart your benefits later at a higher amount. But you can only do this once, and you must withdraw your application within the first 11 months after you file. 

You'll also have to pay back any taxes or Medicare premiums that were withheld. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov. 

Starting at age 70½ (or age 72, if you turn 70½ after 2019), the IRS requires you to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your:

  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans—including profit-sharing, 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans
  • Traditional, rollover, and (in some cases) inherited IRAs—but not Roth IRAs1
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • SEP or SARSEP
  • Roth 401(k)—unless you roll it over to a Roth IRA

To avoid the 50% IRS penalty, you must take your RMDs by the deadline. If you turned 70½ in 2019, take your first RMD by April 1 of 2020—and another RMD by December 31, 2020. If you turn 70½ after 2019, take your first RMD by April 1 of the year after you turn 72. Any portion of the required amount that you don’t withdraw by the deadline will be subject to the 50% penalty.